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When you meet someone amazing but aren't ready for a relationship...


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Hey all,

First thread in a really long time. I will keep this short and simple.

 

Recently I met someone who is amazing in so many ways. We were acquaintances for a while. Then she was looking for a place to live, and my previous roommate had just moved out. So I messaged her and told her I have a spare room I rent out if she is interested. She moved in about a month later.

 

Well, in the time she's been living here we have gotten really close. There are nights we've sat out on the porch until 4am talking. She is my age. She's lived a really interesting life. She is intelligent, talented, funny, kind, attractive, and we have a lot of the same interests.

 

She has expressed interest in me multiple times. She told me she is the kind of person who says what she thinks and doesn't hold things back, ever.

 

But the problem is right now I am just not mentally healthy enough for a relationship. Relationships bring out the worst in me in so many ways. I have been diagnosed with OCD and Major Depressive Disorder. My OCD especially is really relationship-centric and becomes really hard to manage when I'm in a relationship. I am just a lot happier and more content when I'm single. I'm currently in therapy but I have been for years. I do what I can to manage it, but there's no cure, so I'm kind of screwed I guess.

 

At first, we decided we would just see what happens. But now that some time has passed I know I can't handle a relationship right now, and so now I get to break the news to her. We have talked about all of this. She told me she is will to wait while I take my time to figure things out. But I don't think she realizes I will probably never figure things out.

 

I've been in so many bad relationships Now here is the potential for something good, and I just can't handle it. And I really do like her. And then after I end what hasn't even started yet, I still have to see her every day because she lives in my house. I'm really not sure what to do.

 

I really hope I can post this without a ton of judgment in the comments. Not in the mood for that today. (or ever.)

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It's OK. Really, it is. I commend you for knowing you're not available for a relationship (no matter what the reason is).

 

I would definitely not try to force yourself into a relationship with this woman. You are right to not want to do so.

 

Continue to be honest with her. Hopefully she will continue to be your friend.

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I think it is great she knows and understands your boundaries. I agree it sucks when you find somebody worthwhile but don’t have the ability in the moment. Just be kind with yourself. It is good that you know your limits.

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It's OK. Really, it is. I commend you for knowing you're not available for a relationship (no matter what the reason is).

 

I would definitely not try to force yourself into a relationship with this woman. You are right to not want to do so.

 

Continue to be honest with her. Hopefully, she will continue to be your friend.

 

 

She told me herself even if dating doesn't work out we will always be friends. Hopefully she means it.

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I think it is great that you have been so straightforward.

 

I think you need to tell her not to wait, as things will not change for you. Don't know if it will be possible to continue the living arrangement.

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I think it is great she knows and understands your boundaries. I agree it sucks when you find somebody worthwhile but don’t have the ability in the moment. Just be kind with yourself. It is good that you know your limits.

 

Yea... my mental health is just too far gone right now. No one wants to be with someone who is crazy. All the things she likes about me now would probably not be as prevalent in my personality if we were together.

 

And my therapist is retiring in two months... so now I get to go through the joy of finding another therapist after being with the same one for years. The point I'm making here is if her and I were to start a relationship, there might be a time in the near future that I dn't have a therapist, and then she would probably really see me at my worst because I don't have an outlet.

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This is either very simple or very complicated, depending on which way you want to hold the prism.

 

Let's start with the simple version. You're not ready to be in a relationship. That's not "bad" or "good," but just a fact of you, today, one that predated meeting her and has nothing to do with her. Is what it is, in short, and so you make that fact very clear to her: first in words, followed by actions. You're a little vague on how much this has progressed romantically, but the vibe I get is not so far, so dialing things back should be pretty straight-forward.

 

Onto the complicated version. It seems that you have a pretty fatalistic self-conception, at least on the romantic front. The "I'm kind of screwed I guess" and "I will probably never figure this out" stuff, in short. Being content single, not being ready or open to a relationship: these are hardly states of being "screwed." I've spent plenty of time in those states, for instance, time during which I met some wonderful, amazing women. Alas, it wasn't the time. Always a touch melancholy, sure, but part of life: a chapter in the novel, not the entire story. "Never," remember, is a very, very long time. Best not to place bets on such wide margins.

 

Guess what I'm saying is that, if you can come to see it a bit more like that, a moment like this is bittersweet, not a reinforcement of some apocalypse. Every cool person who shows interest in us is not necessarily the person for us: sad but true. Timing is real, and this is one of those moments where time is asking to be respected, so you can respect her and respect yourself.

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Yea... my mental health is just too far gone right now. No one wants to be with someone who is crazy. All the things she likes about me now would probably not be as prevalent in my personality if we were together.

 

And my therapist is retiring in two months... so now I get to go through the joy of finding another therapist about being with the same one for years. Point I"m making here is if her and I were to start a relationship, there might be a time in the near future that I dn't have a therapist, and then she would probably really see me at my worst because I don't have an outlet.

But you were honest, more than a lot of people.

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This is either very simple or very complicated, depending on which way you want to hold the prism.

 

Let's start with the simple version. You're not ready to be in a relationship. That's not "bad" or "good," but just a fact of you, today, one that predated meeting her and has nothing to do with her. Is what it is, in short, and so you make that fact very clear to her: first in words, followed by actions. You're a little vague on how much this has progressed romantically, but the vibe I get is not so far, so dialing things back should be pretty straight-forward.

 

Onto the complicated version. It seems that you have a pretty fatalistic self-conception, at least on the romantic front. The "I'm kind of screwed I guess" and "I will probably never figure this out" stuff, in short. Being content single, not being ready or open to a relationship: these are hardly states of being "screwed." I've spent plenty of time in those states, for instance, time during which I met some wonderful, amazing women. Alas, it wasn't the time. Always a touch melancholy, sure, but part of life: a chapter in the novel, not the entire story. "Never," remember, is a very, very long time. Best not to place bets on such wide margins.

 

Guess what I'm saying is that, if you can come to see it a bit more like that, a moment like this is bittersweet, not a reinforcement of some apocalypse. Every cool person who shows interest in us is not necessarily the person for us: sad but true. Timing is real, and this is one of those moments where time is asking to be respected, so you can respect her and respect yourself.

 

As far as how far it's progressed, yea I was vague on purpose. We haven't slept together. But there has been some physical contact, kissing, etc. We went out last night with my other tennant. And the other girl ran into someone she knows and spent most of the night talking to him at another table. So her and I were alone more of the time and it felt like a date, but it wasn't officially that.

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As far as how far it's progressed, yea I was vague on purpose. We haven't slept together. But there has been some physical contact, kissing, etc. We went out last night with my other tennant. And the other girl ran into someone she knows and spent most of the night talking to him at another table. So her and I were alone more of the time and it felt like a date, but it wasn't officially that.

 

Doesn't really change the response. You've both put some toes across the line where friendship blurs into romance, and you've realized this isn't the time to keep wading into those waters. Happens among adults. Is the more common story, in fact.

 

In your shoes? I suppose I'd take note of my frustration, and channel that a bit. Reading between the lines, I can't help but get the impression that, when you think of your life in the big picture, you wouldn't mind it including a sustained romantic relationship that doesn't fray the wiring. Which, hey, great. Might not happen next week, this year, or next, but no need for this moment to affirm that you're not functional in this regard. Maybe just the opposite, if you can soften the instinct for self-recrimination.

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Based on firsthand personal experience plus second hand experience timing is crucial. Yes, sometimes a non-ready person is all of a sudden ready because someone knocks his/her socks off but I think there are highly legitimate timing issues such that the "right person" is not right because it's not the right time. And it doesn't have to be because of a mental illness, for sure.

 

Just as a humorous aside I always loved the Sex and the City episode when Carrie meets a hot guy in her new therapist's waiting room. After a couple of dates they sleep together and after there is pillow talk and she says "so what are you in therapy for??" And he replies "because every time I meet someone great I end up running off right after we sleep together" (something like that). Fade to black.....

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Doesn't really change the response. You've both put some toes across the line where friendship blurs into romance, and you've realized this isn't the time to keep wading into those waters. Happens among adults. Is the more common story, in fact.

 

In your shoes? I suppose I'd take note of my frustration, and channel that a bit. Reading between the lines, I can't help but get the impression that, when you think of your life in the big picture, you wouldn't mind it including a sustained romantic relationship that doesn't fray the wiring. Which, hey, great. Might not happen next week, this year, or next, but no need for this moment to affirm that you're not functional in this regard. Maybe just the opposite, if you can soften the instinct for self-recrimination.

 

 

I wouldn't mind being in another relationship at some point. But aside from my own issues, everyone I love learns to hate me eventually. I'm a business owner, which has caused friction in every relationship I've been in for the last decade. I can't drive due to a medical condition, which is also a huge point of resentment for everyone I get involved with. Sure, I get around. There's public transportation, etc. But people get really tired of having to do all the driving when we do things as a couple and it turns into something we fight about. I have done a lot to cope with my problems. I meditate a lot, etc. But I have also used Psychedelics in a therapeutic way for about 5 years now. It's only once in a while, always in a safe environment, and never recreationally. But this is something a lot of my exes couldn't handle. Sadly we live in a society where drugs are considered evil no matter what the situation and a lot of people can't get past that mentality. Add to all this the fact that I'm not very attractive and I'm an introvert. I am the antithesis of what most people want in a partner. I am just being realistic. I think the only reason she wants anything to do with me is because she is similar in a lot of ways.

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I wouldn't mind being in another relationship at some point. But aside from my own issues, everyone I love learns to hate me eventually. I'm a business owner, which has caused friction in every relationship I've been in for the last decade. I can't drive due to a medical condition, which is also a huge point of resentment for everyone I get involved with. Sure, I get around. There's public transportation, etc. But people get really tired of having to do all the driving when we do things as a couple and it turns into something we fight about. I have done a lot to cope with my problems. I meditate a lot, etc. But I have also used Psychedelics in a therapeutic way for about 5 years now. It's only once in a while, always in a safe environment, and never recreationally. But this is something a lot of my exes couldn't handle. Sadly we live in a society where drugs are considered evil no matter what the situation and a lot of people can't get past that mentality. Add to all this the fact that I'm not very attractive and I'm an introvert. I am the antithesis of what most people want in a partner. I am just being realistic. I think the only reason she wants anything to do with me is because she is similar in a lot of ways.

 

Mind if I ask how old you are? Just kind of curious, for context.

 

Everything you just laid out as the antithesis? Honestly, it sounds like a lot of people I know: hardworking, eccentric, searching, carving out a world on the periphery of the norm. Wonderful stuff. Not sure what society you're taking about, but out here in California? It's pretty common to overhear someone in a restaurant chatting with their partner about an upcoming ayahuasca ceremony; who knows, maybe they hit up the weed dispensary that looks like an Apple Store on the way home. Just saying...

 

Granted, what I do think is pretty universal is that people prefer to get into relationships with people who feel they're open to that eternal dice roll. But no biggie: something to untangle, or not, as you see fit over time. Just trying to nudge you a bit to reconsider the definition of "realistic." It's not the same as "fatalistic."

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Mind if I ask how old you are? Just kind of curious, for context.

 

Everything you just laid out as the antithesis? Honestly, it sounds like a lot of people I know: hardworking, eccentric, searching, carving out a world on the periphery of the norm. Wonderful stuff. Not sure what society you're taking about, but out here in California? It's pretty common to overhear someone in a restaurant chatting with their partner about an upcoming ayahuasca ceremony; who knows, maybe they hit up the weed dispensary that looks like an Apple Store on the way home. Just saying...

 

Granted, what I do think is pretty universal is that people prefer to get into relationships with people who feel they're open to that eternal dice roll. But no biggie: something to untangle, or not, as you see fit over time. Just trying to nudge you a bit to reconsider the definition of "realistic." It's not the same as "fatalistic."

 

 

I'm 41.

 

I live in the medwest, in a pretty conservative area.

 

Ayahuasca has been my savior in a lot of ways. I would probably be dead without it, in all honesty. I've done it 8 times. I killed my ego, released a lot of anger, healed from sexual abuse, etc. But it can't fix the chemical imbalance that causes my ongoing issues, unfortunately. My family doesn't understand. They think it's just an excuse to get high. And it was pretty much the final nail in the coffin in a 4-year relationship with someone I thought was the one. He didn't like the person I became after my first time.

 

Anyway, thank you for your replies.

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I'm not sure what's the issue if you're both so similar. Are you sure you don't have a mental block or general anxiety about relationships? Maybe this is the OCD you're mentioning.

 

I was in a similar position recently but thankfully didn't have to talk about it. He understood completely, no words. It depends whether you're all right with yourself being open with someone else or feeling vulnerable again and trusting the other person to understand or return that same kindness/compassion.

 

Give it more time or don't. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. I get the sense like you're holding yourself back out of fear due to previous associations.

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How do you identify your sexuality?

Is this girl aware?

 

Kissing another yet not sleeping with them really gives a vibe of interested beyond casual.

She will feel a sense of respect but I think the fact that you haven’t gone beyond kissing is not out of respect for her?

It’s born from your own fear of relationships ? Have you told her this?

 

It’s never a good idea to cross the boundaries of flatmate / tennant.

 

It’s best if you ask her to move out. With due notice of course.

 

And after she moves out , then see if you are motivated to date her .

 

It’s not always about timing , it’s more often to do with connection.

However this seems more like convenience.

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I completely feel this. I'm currently in a similar situation and I've tried being upfront and honest that while I do like the person, I'm just not mentally in a good place and that I don't do well in relationships.

 

I've already felt my mental health shift since speaking with them. For the last six years of being single I haven't had a care in the world for anyone else, didn't need to know what anyone's doing etc.

Now I feel like I'm glued to my phone just waiting impatiently for this person to msg me back, I'm constantly fixated on them, interested to know what they're doing all the time, etc...and I don't need not do I want that.

 

They are insistent that this could be something really special and that they don't want to miss out on it. I've been trying to rent out a room in my house for months and they want to move in regardless of me telling them I'm not ready for a relationship. They think that if we spend enough time together it'll just happen naturally.

 

I think it's really good that you know your limits and as long as you communicate them to her, you've done your part. If she decides to wait or not that's on her. You can take comfort in knowing that you didn't ask her to and that you weren't giving her false hope. There's nothing wrong with a platonic friendship / companion.

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I'm not sure what's the issue if you're both so similar. Are you sure you don't have a mental block or general anxiety about relationships? Maybe this is the OCD you're mentioning.

 

I'm pretty sure I do, actually.

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How do you identify your sexuality?

Is this girl aware?

 

Kissing another yet not sleeping with them really gives a vibe of interested beyond casual.

She will feel a sense of respect but I think the fact that you haven’t gone beyond kissing is not out of respect for her?

It’s born from your own fear of relationships ? Have you told her this?

 

It’s never a good idea to cross the boundaries of flatmate / tennant.

 

It’s best if you ask her to move out. With due notice of course.

 

And after she moves out , then see if you are motivated to date her .

 

It’s not always about timing , it’s more often to do with connection.

However this seems more like convenience.

 

 

I'm Bisexual. Yes, she is aware.

 

As far as the kissing goes, I am interested beyond just casual. I think if I could get over my issues her and I would be awesome together. And we have done some things other than kissing, also. I just didn't want to list all the gory details. We've cuddled, we've slept in the same bed, and there has been a lot of touching and stuff between us. She has wanted to go further and I've stopped it. It's not because I don't want to, because I haven't had sex in a really long time and she really turns me on. So yes, I want to go further. I just haven't because I don't want to get too attached too fast. And she knows that's the reason.

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I completely feel this. I'm currently in a similar situation and I've tried being upfront and honest that while I do like the person, I'm just not mentally in a good place and that I don't do well in relationships.

 

I've already felt my mental health shift since speaking with them. For the last six years of being single I haven't had a care in the world for anyone else, didn't need to know what anyone's doing etc.

Now I feel like I'm glued to my phone just waiting impatiently for this person to msg me back, I'm constantly fixated on them, interested to know what they're doing all the time, etc...and I don't need not do I want that.

 

They are insistent that this could be something really special and that they don't want to miss out on it. I've been trying to rent out a room in my house for months and they want to move in regardless of me telling them I'm not ready for a relationship. They think that if we spend enough time together it'll just happen naturally.

 

I think it's really good that you know your limits and as long as you communicate them to her, you've done your part. If she decides to wait or not that's on her. You can take comfort in knowing that you didn't ask her to and that you weren't giving her false hope. There's nothing wrong with a platonic friendship / companion.

 

Wow, that is similar. I'm sorry that you are also going through this also.

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Hey all,

First thread in a really long time. I will keep this short and simple.

 

Recently I met someone who is amazing in so many ways. We were acquaintances for a while. Then she was looking for a place to live, and my previous roommate had just moved out. So I messaged her and told her I have a spare room I rent out if she is interested. She moved in about a month later.

 

Well, in the time she's been living here we have gotten really close. There are nights we've sat out on the porch until 4am talking. She is my age. She's lived a really interesting life. She is intelligent, talented, funny, kind, attractive, and we have a lot of the same interests.

 

She has expressed interest in me multiple times. She told me she is the kind of person who says what she thinks and doesn't hold things back, ever.

 

But the problem is right now I am just not mentally healthy enough for a relationship. Relationships bring out the worst in me in so many ways. I have been diagnosed with OCD and Major Depressive Disorder. My OCD especially is really relationship-centric and becomes really hard to manage when I'm in a relationship. I am just a lot happier and more content when I'm single. I'm currently in therapy but I have been for years. I do what I can to manage it, but there's no cure, so I'm kind of screwed I guess.

 

At first, we decided we would just see what happens. But now that some time has passed I know I can't handle a relationship right now, and so now I get to break the news to her. We have talked about all of this. She told me she is will to wait while I take my time to figure things out. But I don't think she realizes I will probably never figure things out.

 

I've been in so many bad relationships Now here is the potential for something good, and I just can't handle it. And I really do like her. And then after I end what hasn't even started yet, I still have to see her every day because she lives in my house. I'm really not sure what to do.

 

I really hope I can post this without a ton of judgment in the comments. Not in the mood for that today. (or ever.)

 

The thing I'm having trouble getting past is that she's (apparently) a paying tenant or roommate of yours. Or possibly even shacking up for free.

 

What will you do if she decides to stop paying rent? Or if you tell her to find another place? Will her love be as unconditional?

 

This super-flattery of her 'never holding things back' and 'being willing to wait for you' strikes me as a bombardment.... And you seem very vulnerable to that sort of thing. You are having trouble upholding your own boundaries as a result or your attraction to her. And so you don't seem to mind that she doesn't respect your boundaries, either.

 

Really, you are the perfect target for a charmer who is looking for a home. Be careful.

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Do you believe that this would be a problem if she weren't living there?

 

It's simple enough to keep a friendship as a friendship when you can plan to meet or hang out in comfort just as friends often do. But having someone live in your home and then sexualizing that isn't something that even the most healthy people can pull off without consequences.

 

So you're in a pressure cooker that needn't exist. I'd tell her that I'm keeping things squarely platonic for the duration of her stay in my home. This would preclude the need to converse about it further unless and until she's ready to move out. From there, you'll learn whether the friendship has any legs and can thrive on it's own--for its own sake.

 

I'd cross THAT bridge before messing around with her any further. Then the relationship will either evolve through periods of going vulnerable but then being able to pull back into privacy and contemplation. Or, the relationship will flourish into a platonic friendship--or not, and if not--no harm, no foul.

 

No matter how you slice it, having her live in your home contaminates the foundation. There's no engaging in the comfort of being able to return to privacy. Without that reasonable dynamic, it's all just too much, too soon from the gate. If it blows up, it will only confirm any fears you have about not being able to pull off a relationship, but really, it's the live-in situation that's turning this into an unnecessary powder keg. That's not healthy regardless of how mentally prepared one might be for a relationship.

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Regarding transitioning your therapy, can you ask for recommendations from your therapist for people to interview over the next two months? Then you can take back your concerns to current therapist and let him or her help you to weigh pros and cons and decide who to work with next?

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Do you believe that this would be a problem if she weren't living there?

 

It's simple enough to keep a friendship as a friendship when you can plan to meet or hang out in comfort just as friends often do. But having someone live in your home and then sexualizing that isn't something that even the most healthy people can pull off without consequences.

 

So you're in a pressure cooker that needn't exist. I'd tell her that I'm keeping things squarely platonic for the duration of her stay in my home. This would preclude the need to converse about it further unless and until she's ready to move out. From there, you'll learn whether the friendship has any legs and can thrive on it's own--for its own sake.

 

I'd cross THAT bridge before messing around with her any further. Then the relationship will either evolve through periods of going vulnerable but then being able to pull back into privacy and contemplation. Or, the relationship will flourish into a platonic friendship--or not, and if not--no harm, no foul.

 

No matter how you slice it, having her live in your home contaminates the foundation. There's no engaging in the comfort of being able to return to privacy. Without that reasonable dynamic, it's all just too much, too soon from the gate. If it blows up, it will only confirm any fears you have about not being able to pull off a relationship, but really, it's the live-in situation that's turning this into an unnecessary powder keg. That's not healthy regardless of how mentally prepared one might be for a relationship.

 

 

Yes. And it's not like any of this was planned. I knew her before. She is single, so am I, and so is my other tenant. Three single women living together could be a fun situation, especially considering all three of us are creative people, etc. I didn't think anything like this was going to happen. I have this huge house. I've had tenants pretty much the whole time I've lived here. Never any complications.

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